Archive for April 18th, 2012

Youth preacher charged with indecent assault

| 18/04/2012 | 0 Comments

Felix (253x300).jpg(CNS): Former TV personality and youth pastor, Felix Manzanares, made his first appearance in Summary Court on Tuesday in connection with an indecent assault charge. Although few details of the charges were revealed in court, the former host of Cayman27’s youth talk show, The Conversation, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman from the church where he was a preacher. No police report was ever released regarding the arrest or allegations made against Manzanares relating to the incident, which was said to have happened in December last year. After his brief appearance and the collection of documents by his attorney from the crown relating to the charges, he was bailed to return to court on 1 May.

Manzanares, who lives in bodden Town, was formerly a youth pastor at the Church of God, George Town, and was also nominated for the Young Caymanian Leadership award in 2010.

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Officials announce arrival of UK minister

| 18/04/2012 | 28 Comments

belly (300x200).jpg(CNS): Local government officials confirmed yesterday that the UK’s Foreign Office minister who has responsibility for the overseas territories will be arriving in Cayman for the first time today. Henry Bellingham MP will be here until 21 April meeting with the premier over the relationship with the UK and some of the challenges facing the Cayman Islands at present, officials said. Bellingham is also scheduled to meet the Leader of the Opposition, senior Civil Servants, a cross-section of business people, representatives of Civil Society and members of the public as well as the media.

“I am really looking forward to visiting the Cayman Islands, which I have heard and read so much about,” Bellingham said. “I welcome the opportunity to meet members of the Government and the wider community face to face during my visit, to see the Islands for myself and to learn more about the Cayman Islands and its people.”

According to a government release Bellingham’s programme will include elements focussed on financial services, business development, law enforcement, the environment and disaster management.

The UK Conservative government minister will also be promoting the forthcoming celebrations for the queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

On Thursday evening McKeeva Bush will be hosting a cultural reception at Pedro St.  James for Bellingham where the UK politician is expected to make a speech.

When he leaves Cayman Bellingham will be heading to the British Virgin Islands and then to Barbados.

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TCI government aims to pull down PNP HQ

| 18/04/2012 | 6 Comments

pnp_headquarters.jpg(CNS): The Turks and Caicos Islands government has served civil proceedings on the Progressive National Party (PNP) to recover the land where the political group has its offices. According to local reports, the UK interim government intends to destroy the building on the crown land, where it says the PNP has trespassed.  The TCI government said in a release that, following the construction of the headquarters in 2005, the PNP appointed management agent, Provident Management Services Ltd, which was said to have sub-leased six offices in the headquarters to PNP MPs for a total of $465,083.61 over a three year period, which was paid by the government.

The government said it is seeking the return of that money, which it claims Provident was not entitled to.

Government has filed suit in the TCI courts for damages, as well as the $465,083.61, an order that the headquarters are pulled down and the cost of returning the land to its former state.

The current attorney general, Huw Shepheard, said that when the administration became aware last year that the headquarters had been built on crown land to which the PNP had no title, he wrote to the PNP setting out the claim.

“It had been our hope that matters could be settled amicably without the need for proceedings. Unfortunately, discussions with the PNP have not been successful. In those circumstances, the government has been left with no choice but to bring these proceedings for trespass and damages to recover this plot of crown land and what is properly owed to the government," he said.

The PNP’s attorney, Carlos Simons QC, said he did not believe that the government’s method of service met the requirements of TCI procedural law so the PNP did not need to respond and that the trespass claim was entirely misconceived.

“The party has been in open possession of the Airport Road property since at least 2005 with the full knowledge of the leaders of every government department concerned with dealings in crown land and with their acquiescence, if not consent,” he said.

He added that the PNP would rigorously defend the “spurious claims brought by the interim government.”

Clayton Greene the PNP leader said it was another blow to democracy.

“If parliament is to work, then political parties must send people there. If we do not have at least two political parties, we can have no opposition,” he said, adding that the claim was another attempt by the governor to break the will of the PNP.

“The governor is hell bent on silencing to voice of the Progressive National Party and by extension the voice of a significant number of people in this country,” he said.

Meanwhile, as the country continues under the cloud of a corruption investigation, a member of the clergy has called for the return of former governor Richard Tauwhare to face questioning in the on-going Special Investigation probe, since he was the chief overseer for government affairs during the Michael Misick administration.

Bishop Derek Browne, President for the Methodist Conference of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands and Pastor for the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Blue Hills, said he was equally responsible for anything found to be untoward during the former administration, and should be asked to answer to charges similar to those that his former cabinet colleagues were facing.

“The situation that we are in now has not started with the British folk,” he said. “Richard Tauwhare needs to come back here … he should be here because much of what went on went on either with his approval, or if it was any matter of being set up, he set up for others to do the dirty work.”

The preacher said the former governor was a part of what was going on and justice was not one-sided and the church could not sit by and watch injustices run amok. He also criticized the current administration.

“The church is the conscience of the society; the church has to speak out against the dictatorship, and that kind of style,” Browne said. “When I looked at certain things being done, it seems to be done with the intention of sinking the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

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